896: Marie Curie

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 21:57, 25 August 2013 by Quicksilver (talk | contribs) (Explanation: Title text)
Jump to: navigation, search
Marie Curie
Although not permanently.
Title text: Although not permanently.


Ponytail is standing (possibly by herself and talking to herself) and looking at a picture of Marie Curie. When she mentions Marie Curie's name, Zombie Marie Curie comes forth to give some life lessons and inspiration.

Marie Curie pioneered research on radioactivity and as it says in the comic she earned two nobel prizes. She died from aplastic anemia contracted from exposure to radiation — although in the title text it says that it does not kill you permanently, because you come back as a zombie.

Everything that Zombie Marie Curie says about Emmy Noether and Lise Meitner above is true as well.


Ponytail: My teacher always told me that if I applied myself, I could become the next Marie Curie.
Zombie Marie Curie: You know, I wish they'd get over me.
Ponytail: Zombie Marie Curie!
Zombie Marie Curie: Not that I don't deserve it. These two Nobels ain't decorative. But I make a sorry role model if girls just see me over and over as the one token lady scientist.
Zombie Marie Curie: Lise Meitner figured out that nuclear fission was happening, while her colleague Otto was staring blankly at their data in confusion, and proved Enrico Fermi wrong in the process. Enrico and Otto both got Nobel Prizes. Lise got a National Women's Press Club award.
Zombie Marie Curie: They finally named an element after her, but not until 60 years later.
Zombie Marie Curie: Emmy Noether fought past her Victorian-era finishing-school upbringing, pursued mathematics by auditing classes, and, after finally getting a Ph.D, was permitted to teach only as an unpaid lecturer (often under male colleagues' names).
Ponytail: Was she as good as them?
Zombie Marie Curie: She revolutionized abstract algebra, filled gaps in relativity, and found what some call the most beautiful, deepest result in theoretical physics.
Ponytail: Oh.
Zombie Marie Curie: But you don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.
Zombie Marie Curie: So don't try to be the next me, Noether, or Meitner. Just remember that if you want to do this stuff, you're not alone.
Ponytail: Thanks.
Zombie Marie Curie: Also, avoid radium. Turns out it kills you.
Ponytail: I'll try.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


I miss the days when zombies would just bite you to death. What's with all this talking? Davidy²²[talk] 02:07, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

It would probably be better if she came back as a ghost. But radiation poisoning in pop lit only explains physically supernatural stuff, not external consciousness supernatural stuff. Zombies, on the other hand, have been used in pop lit as thinking characters, even though they shouldn't have been. 16:49, 3 December 2013 (UTC)Dartania

Too bad Marguerite Vogt is not mentioned. She should have shared the Nobel with Renato Dulbecco, as (relatively) recent as 1975. --Jkrstrt (talk) 20:02, 21 June 2014 (UTC)--Jkrstrt (talk) 20:02, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Does it not escape your notice that by simply saying "everything else she says is true as well" you are doing the exact thing that this cartoon is trying to emphasise as unfair? In the last cartoon you guys couldn't say enough about the great Richard Feynman but you have reduced the achievements of two great women down to one simple sentence. Well played, I'm sure Randall's proud that you could so clearly see the point he was trying to make. 07:37, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

  • You have the power, 141...94! -- RyanofTinellb (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Ok,jeez we get your point,and I get the point. 22:39, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

I used to live in a road, named after Lise Meitner and read a lot about her back then. Really a shame she isn't more well known! --Lupo (talk) 06:51, 4 September 2019 (UTC)